Prime Minister James Marape says the K590 million in cost-of-living relief, provided for in the biggest-ever K24.567 billion 2023 Budget handed down yesterday (November 29, 2022) by Treasurer Hon. Ian Ling-Stuckey, shows that it is a “People’s Budget”.
He said this yesterday after Treasurer Ling-Stuckey handed down the Budget in Parliament.
“What Treasurer Ling-Stuckey announced yesterday shows that the Pangu Pati Government I lead is caring, responsible and responsive,” PM Marape said.
“The 2023 Budget is truly a ‘People’s Budget. “Pangu Pati and our coalition partners went into the elections with a commitment to better Papua New Guinea, the people voted for us right throughout the country, and we are now delivering through the 2023 Budget.
“All-in-all, the Budget is tailored towards lifting our country, and is more people-focused than ever before.”
The K590 million relief includes:
• Tax cuts of K63 per fortnight for those earning more than K20,000 per year for 2023. This will be done by temporarily lifting the tax-free threshold to K20,000 at a cost of K280 million;
• K150 million will be provided for reducing fuel prices. All excise taxes on fuels will be removed through to June 30, 2023. This will keep petrol prices down by about 61t per litre, and diesel prices down by 23t per litre; and
• K160 million is allocated for removing school fee project costs in 2023. This is a particularly-important measure to get assistance out to rural areas and families.
PM Marape said it was the first time in PNG’s history for a government to develop a household assistance scheme, to help address some of the cost-of-living pressures such as increased prices for fuel, cooking oil, rice and fertilizer for farmers.